National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

New Music Video Brings Awareness to Domestic Violence

Rap duo Atmosphere shines a spotlight on domestic violence and The Hotline today with the release of the music video for their new single “The Last To Say.” The song tells the story of two generations of a family suffering due to domestic violence. In the video, the child who witnessed his father’s abuse growing up becomes the abuser as an adult in his own relationship. The end of the video features the website and number of The Hotline.

MTV is premiering the video on its activist-focused ACT blog, MTVU and MTV2 today. The video has already gotten attention on popular music blogs Antiquiet, Music by Goat and The Originators.

“Domestic violence is something that everyone has dealt with, directly or indirectly,” Sean ‘Slug’ Daley, one half of Atmosphere, stated in an MTV interview about the video.

The group is one of the most successful independent hip hop groups since debuting in 1989. Critics have applauded Atmosphere’s lyrics for their thoughtful and introspective quality. This is the first time the group has taken an activist stance through their music.

Daley also said that the group had wanted to speak out on the subject for some time, but needed the right music for his message.

“Making someone aware of the situation you’re in is difficult, but reaching out and asking for help and finding a way to protect yourself is the most important thing,” Daley added.


Katie Ray-Jones Named President, Sheila Marlow Named New Chief Advancement Officer

June 21, 2011 – The National Domestic Violence Hotline is pleased to announce Katie Ray-Jones has been selected to serve as President of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and National Dating Abuse Helpline.  Katie has served a Director of Operations for the Hotline since 2009.

As a member of the National Task Force to Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act and in her role as Hotline Director, Katie has made several visits to key congressional offices and is well known on Capitol Hill as a representative of the Hotline and Helpline.  Katie has distinguished herself as a leader with prominent individuals in the national domestic violence movement and with national domestic violent groups and has represented the Hotline at several key national domestic/dating violence and gender-based violence meetings.

Katie also has extensive experience working with survivors of domestic violence.  She has managed an emergency shelter, transitional and permanent housing programs, nonresidential services for survivors and their children, 24-hour hotlines, services for individuals with HIV/AIDS, housing for families who are homeless, case management programs for children who have been abused and neglected, and a therapeutic preschool for children who have witnessed violence.  She has also worked at a legal clinic that provided assistance to victims of domestic violence who were seeking restraining orders and other types of legal advocacy, provided individual therapy and facilitated groups for survivors and abusers and worked for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission administering funding to family violence providers throughout the state of Texas.

“Katie is truly a remarkable leader and we are thrilled she has taken the helm to lead this organization,” said Dyanne Purcell, CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline.  “Her knowledge and insight to the dynamics of domestic violence have impressed White House staff, U.S. Government officials and Hotline corporate partners.”

Katie has a bachelor’s degree in child and family development from San Diego State University and a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the University of San Diego.  Katie is married and has two wonderful children, George and Maximillian.

The Hotline is also excited to announce that Sheila Marlow has joined the National Council on Family Violence as the Chief Advancement Officer.

Sheila will oversee the marketing, communications and development departments for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, National Dating Abuse Helpline and the Texas Council on Family Violence.

Sheila is originally from Dallas where she worked for accomplished agencies like The Dallas Opera, Texas Woman’s University, and most recently Big Brothers Big Sisters.  She is a skilled professional who brings with her an extensive fund raising experience to the agency.

Ms. Marlow’s development experience has resulted in millions of dollars raised for organizations including: The Dallas Opera, The Science Place, The Dallas Arboretum, and Gilda’s Club North Texas.  After completing a $55M capital campaign at Texas Woman’s University, she went on to serve as Vice President of Community Relations for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Sheila’s many volunteer commitments have included: serving on the Board for the Promising Youth Alliance, the Greater Dallas Chapter of AFP: 2007 DFW AFP Conference, Dallas host co-chairman for 2007 AFP International Conference, Committee member National Philanthropy Day Luncheon, and External Affairs Committee for the International Association of Fundraising.

“The National Council on Family Violence is pleased to have Sheila join our amazing team.  She has a proven track record of success and in these tight budget times and an ever increasing demand for our services, it is critical we have a talented professional who can help the Hotline and Helpline raise valuable private sector dollars,” said Dyanne Purcell, CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

The Hotline is open 24-hours a day, every day, with assistance in 170 languages. The Hotline receives about 23,500 calls each month and has answered over 2.3 million calls during 15 years of service to victims of domestic violence.

Angela Hale

National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

Domestic Violence Depicted in Summer Music Elicits Strong Response

Popular rapper Eminem and the musical group Odd Future both made headlines this week, spurring debates over the portrayal of domestic violence in the media, specifically through lyrics and music videos.

Music Video Prompts Worry

Eminem released the video for his latest single, “Space Bound,” online June 27.  The video takes the viewer through the escalation of anger into violence and eventually murder as Eminem copes with discovering that his girlfriend cheated on him. Having realized what he’s done, Eminem commits a graphic suicide at the end of the video.

The new single also presents aggressive, violent lyrics including, “I’m trying to stop you from breathing/I put both hands on your throat […]’ til I snap your neck like a Popsicle stick.” The violent imagery and lyrics have prompted outcry from Mothers Against Violence, a British nonprofit, who have called publicly declared the rapper “evil” and “selfish.”

The song’s producer Jim Jonsin defended the video to the press. “People kill themselves, people get killed, they kill other people,” Jonsin clarified to MTV News. “When my kids watch it, I like to explain to them in that manner: ‘It’s like a movie, ya know? He isn’t really killing himself.’”

Eminem has earned negative press before with his previous portrayals of domestic violence. The video for the 2010 hit song “Love the Way You Lie,” in which Eminem collaborated with Rihanna, featured a similarly hostile and abusive relationship between Dominic Monaghan and costar Megan Fox.

Festival Selection Mobilizes Chicago Activists

Pitchfork released the line-up of their summer music festival on June 22th, which includes controversial California-based indie rap group Odd Future. Odd Future has been condemned by several anti-domestic violence and LGBTQ groups, especially since the release of frontman Tyler the Creator’s crude album Goblin earlier this year. With lyrics deemed too vulgar for The Late Show and multiple Twitter feuds with various musicians, Odd Future has garnered a lot of criticism.

Pitchfork’s endorsement of Odd Future has empowered Chicago-based domestic violence groups to voice their concerns. Between Friends, a domestic violence agency providing counseling, court advocacy, prevention and education efforts, has announced that they will be present at Pitchfork Festival to provide another perspective to concertgoers about the content of Odd Future’s music.

Between Friends issued a statement (full message available here) regarding their July 17th protest intentions. “While we don’t agree with this, it is their art, and we’d like to offer a counterpoint and continue to help people that are being affected by the violence they describe.”

Between Friends has printed 5,000 cardboard hand fans featuring educational information about domestic violence and resources to get help. The group described their goal as the following. “The result will be a sea of fans cooling down concertgoers while, hopefully, getting them discussing the issue and knowing where to turn for help.”